Hello Friends! It's been a while. This isn't necessarily a new story, since I posted it on my tumblr as I wrote it, but it is new for those that didn't see it on tumblr. It was a fill for Faberry week. No, not the most recent one, the one before that. I know, that was so long ago. Well, It's entirely completed so I thought I'd post it as a one shot. For those not familiar with Faberry week, there was a prompt each day and I decided to combine ALL the prompts in order and make a flowing story. The prompts were: Road Trip, Zombie Apocalypse, Drunk, Skank/Goth, World War II, Super Heroes, College, and a bonus prompt that was Pride. I posted it in parts on my Tumblr but I'm just going to insert line breaks on here so it doesn't disrupt anything. It's a light story, nothing too serious, and I apologize that it took me so long to get it finished. I was on a hiatus for a long time. Anyway, hope you enjoy, and I apologize for any and all mistakes.
Still working on the other unfinished things I have out.
Also, there's no strikethrough option on here so i'm going to use bold instead.
She glanced at the clock sitting on her bedside table and looked to the empty suitcase lying on her bed. Quinn was going to kill her. She promised that she would be ready to leave by 10 am, but she couldn't exactly pack for a trip that she didn't have an itinerary for. Would she need to dress for the hot summer sun of Florida? Or perhaps they would be going someplace in the North West, where she would need rain boots and an umbrella at all times? Do the Fabrays have a lake house in Maine? What if they decide to rent beach cruisers one day, surely she would want to wear her white cover up and matching sunhat. Quinn wouldn't even give her a region of the country; she just promised that they would stay within the borders of the United States. Rachel also caught the mumbled, maybe, and the innocent smirk that followed.
She'd been rifling through her closet all morning, pulling things down that she might need, and ended up just rearranging her whole closet. Whatever she wasn't taking on the road trip, her father was going to pack up and bring to New York for her in two short weeks. That was the only clue she received, Quinn was the one that was dropping her off at NYADA at the end of their adventure, they'd meet her fathers there for the freshman welcome weekend, and she would start classes soon after that. To be honest, she would've liked to have just stayed in New York after her Freshman Orientation at the beginning of the summer but she wasn't in the right frame of mind, considering she had just been majorly dumped. Practically in front of all her closest friends, no less.
She went through the five stages of grief, almost in a textbook sort of way. For her train ride to New York, she was mostly in denial. She told herself that she was just visiting for the weekend and when she got back to Lima, things would be worked out. It was one of the reasons she was so eager to get back home, so she could fix whatever was going on in Finn's head and they could be together again. That was when the anger started. He wouldn't answer her text messages, and that's just plain rude, in her opinion. She was angry with herself mostly, for trusting him with her heart for so long. For thinking that he was someone that would never hurt her. Her text messages soon turned into ones of bargaining, a brief period of time that she'll look back on and cringe with embarrassment. She holed herself up in her room for a few days, looking through her high school scrapbook, and listening to Adele albums on repeat until there was a knock on her bedroom door.
"Get dressed," Quinn said to her, only showing slight distaste once she recognized Finn's oversized football jersey on her.
"Leave me here to die," Rachel moaned from under her covers, "There's nothing out there for me anymore."
Quinn actually laughed at her as she opened the curtains of her windows, "Stop being so dramatic."
Rachel sat up, properly offended by the blonde's blunt label. "My heart was ripped out of my chest, thrown in front of a train, and disguised as selflessness."
Quinn stared blankly at her from across the room, waiting for her to finish, "Again, dramatic."
Rachel scoffed and threw herself back on her mattress, "Close the curtains, the sun is hurting my eyes."
Naturally, the blonde ignored her and sat at the edge of the bed instead, "Look, it's time for some tough love," she started. Rachel knew she should put her hands over her ears and ignore everything Quinn was about to throw at her but a part of her felt like maybe she needed to hear it, "Finn broke up with you. It's been a week since you got back from New York, and have you heard from him?" she asked, taking Rachel's silence as no. "I'm sure he's hurting too, but for once in my life I actually agree that he did the right thing. I think he made a colossal mistake on his end for letting you go in the first place, but it's done now. It's been a week, he hasn't contacted you, he probably still loves you but not enough to change his mind."
The tears were flowing as soon as she spoke his name, a name that was taboo around the Berry household, but Quinn dove right in and didn't bother throwing Rachel a life vest.
"Why are you doing this to me? Can't you see I'm not over this?"
"Because as your friend, it's my job to make you feel better."
"You're making me feel worse."
"I gave you a week."
"Obviously it wasn't long enough."
"No," Quinn stood and pulled the covers off of her, "Clearly it was too long. Rachel, you're wasting away your summer. You don't have to accept the fact that it's over right now but at least carry on with your life. Hang out with your friends, they're all worried about you."
"How do you expect me to do that when we are friends with all the same people."
"He left yesterday for boot camp."
Rachel felt the air float out of her lungs, "I see."
"I'm not telling you that to make you upset, I'm telling you so that you'll stop waiting for him to show up and take it all back. I know how you think and it's not going to happen, and the sooner you realize it, the better off you'll be."
Rachel sat up and wiped the tears from under her eyes slowly, "You're really bad at this."
"When have I ever sugar coated anything for you? That's how we are."
"I suppose it is."
"So, shower and get dressed, we are going to Brittany's dance recital and then out to dinner with Santana's mom."
Rachel looked on as Quinn began picking up a few of the articles of clothing scattered across the floor, "Why are you doing this?"
The blonde turned and looked at her for a long moment before shrugging, "We're friends."
Rachel was knocked out of her memory as she heard the front door close. She looked towards her still empty suitcase and chastised herself when she realized that she had wasted even more time by getting caught up in old memories. The footsteps on the staircase were getting closer and closer, Rachel sat on her computer chair and winced as the seconds passed. Quinn was going to kill her.
"Ready to go?" the blonde said as she entered the room and took in the sight of all the clothes on the bed, "I guess not." She looked at Rachel and waited for an explanation.
"It would help if you would tell me where we are going." She offered as an excuse.
Quinn shook her head and started separating some of the clothing, folding it, and ultimately putting it in the suitcase for the girl who watched silently.
It began to hit Rachel that this was the last time she was going to be in her bedroom until she came home for Thanksgiving break. At the beginning of the summer, she couldn't wait to get out of Lima and away from everything that reminded her of Finn. But now? Now, Rachel would give just about anything to have a few more months of summer to hang out with her friends. The kicker? She couldn't think of a better way to spend her last two weeks of summer freedom than on a road trip with Quinn. She doesn't know what that means but she has a feeling it's not her friends she'll miss once school starts… it's Quinn.
"Hey," Quinn called out to her, "Ready?"
"I guess so."
She said goodbye to everyone the night before at a small get together with the glee club. Quinn and Rachel were the first ones leaving for college, so it was the last time they were all together until Thanksgiving.
"Don't look too excited or anything."
Rachel rolled her eyes playfully, "It's not like I know where we are going."
"That's the point," Quinn reminded her as she zipped up the suitcase.
Rachel shouldered her purse and another duffel bag full of toiletries and electronic devices and followed Quinn down the stairs. She said goodbye to her fathers before they left for work so the house was empty. She savored being in her childhood home for a few more seconds before she closed the door and eagerly trotted down the driveway to Quinn's new car. A graduation present from her mother, since she was cleared to drive again after the accident.
"So, now can you tell me where we are going?" Rachel asked, after buckling herself in the passenger seat.
Quinn backed out of the driveway and casually ignored the question. She'd been doing it since she presented Rachel with the idea of a road trip in the first place. Of course, Rachel eagerly agreed. She loved road trips but she also was under the impression that she would get to help plan out their route. She soon came to realize that Quinn not only did all the planning, but also wouldn't tell her where they were going. She had tried every tactic: she begged, she bargained, she feigned anger, she fake cried, she threatened, and even pretended like she didn't care, but nothing worked.
"I know you made a road trip playlist," she said instead, "Let's have it."
Rachel reached into her bag and grabbed her iPod. Of course she made a road trip playlist, she made three. Songs she knew Quinn liked, songs she could belt out on the open road, and songs about summer.
She picked the one she made for Quinn, hoping it would butter her up. Quinn glanced at her after the third song and tried to hide her smile as Rachel pouted innocently.
"Fine!" she said, "One clue."
Rachel clapped and sat up in her seat, she needed to be as attentive as possible.
Quinn sat up a bit as well and reached into her back pocket, pulling out a crumpled and worn piece of paper so she could hand it to the girl.
Was it a map? Printed out reservations? Directions? Oh! What if it was the entire agenda? One could only hope.
Instead, she was met with confusion and even more questions that she knew Quinn wasn't going to answer.
She stared at the stationary from her very own collection, and the words on the paper were even her own. Where had she seen this before? Surely, she wrote it, but how did this pertain to their trip, and more importantly, how did Quinn get it?
After the wedding heard 'round the world, as she so appropriately deemed it, her fathers felt it beneficial for her to meet with her therapist to talk about what happened. From the young engagement, to almost getting married, to having a friend get into a life altering car accident, it seemed like a pretty big day in the young girl's life, and they just weren't equipped to handle it on their own. Rachel didn't mind, her and her therapist were practically best friends, all things considering, and she could've used a third party perspective on it all.
She upped her weekly appointments to three times a week, in order to cope with everything going on. Quinn was paralyzed from the waist down, Finn was considering joining the army, she tanked her NYADA audition, and Whitney Houston died, she needed someone to talk to. One of the assignments was to make a list of entirely unreachable goals and somehow make one of them happen. It was silly and Rachel didn't exactly take it seriously, in fact, she turned it into a small joke and made it a point to tell her therapist that she didn't appreciate having homework. Secretly, she would admit only to herself, if she could do any of the things on her list, she'd be pretty thrilled. She didn't bother putting down her actual goals because those would, come hell or high water, happen. The purpose of the lesson was apparently that nothing was impossible. Of course, at the time, she didn't see the point of the lesson, and she still didn't see the point of it. Of course there are things that are physically impossible, and she took the opportunity to prove it to her therapist by her goal choices.
Somehow Quinn had gotten hold of the list she made and it had something to do with their road trip. But how?
She read over the page again.
* From the Desk of Rachel Barbra *
Dreams/Goals/Aspirations as required by Dr. Connor
1. Crowd surf (who does that anymore?)
2. Fly (not in an airplane)
3. Obtain super powers (see above)
4. Survive a zombie attack (without killing any because gross!)
5. Talk to my grandfather (who is dead)
6. Not a care in the world (like that will ever happen)
She glanced over to Quinn, suspicion swirling around in her eyes, as she studied the girl.
"What does this have to do with our trip?" she asked.
Quinn looked over to her with a smile, "You'll see," she replied before turning up the music and accelerating onto the open highway.
Indeed, she would.
Now Entering Asbury Park.
They crossed state lines into New Jersey about an hour ago but Rachel still hadn't correctly guessed their destination.
After driving about eight hours on the first day, they stopped for the night in Hershey, Pennsylvania. They checked into a motel and used the Internet connection to find a restaurant nearby to get something to eat. Quinn had asked if she wanted to get separate rooms and Rachel nearly laughed in her face. As if she was going to stay by herself in a motel room in a foreign place. Her father had a thing for low budget horror films and deserted-motel-off-the-highway was a prime location for serial killers to have their monthly meetings. Besides, she didn't mind doubling up on a queen bed; they could conserve money that way.
For sitting in a car all day, they were wiped out. Driving was pretty exhausting for some reason. They fell asleep watching Friends reruns and they didn't wake up until the maid knocked on their door at around 10am.
They spent the day at a waterpark and the following day at the Hershey theme park before packing up their stuff and setting out for their next stop.
Apparently, they had arrived.
"What are we doing here?" Rachel asked as they drove along side a boardwalk. At least there was a beach.
The GPS told them that their destination was on their right and Quinn turned into the hotel parking lot.
She turned the car off and waited for Rachel to finish surveying her surroundings, "We're here for two days," she told her.
Rachel laughed lightly, "Okay, but that doesn't answer my question."
"Number 4 on your list." She unbuckled her seatbelt and got out of the car.
Rachel pulled the list out of the glove compartment and found number 4: Survive a zombie attack (without killing any because gross!)
She scrunched her nose and tried to turn around in her seat, "Do you know something that I don't know?" She then angled her head to look up at the sky, as if that would tell her something. Were zombies going to rain down on them?
Quinn chuckled as she opened the back door and grabbed her purse, "Let's check in and get brunch, I'll explain."
Rachel unbuckled her seatbelt and grabbed her bags before following Quinn into the lobby. The blonde glanced at her as they were waiting for the manager to pull up the reservation, as if making sure she was still okay with sharing a room. They were on the 4th floor, conveniently a floor with both ice and vending machines, Rachel noted. They dropped their stuff off and decided to walk to find a place to eat. It took about 15 minutes to find a café and they grabbed a seat near the windows.
Rachel took a sip of the complimentary water, "So…"
Quinn set down her menu and arched an eyebrow in the brunette's direction.
"What are we doing here?" she asked.
"Enjoying a nice brunch?" Rachel tilted her head impatiently. "Would it kill you to just go with the flow?"
"It's this thing, I saw on a TV show once, it's a Zombie walk."
"We're going to walk with zombies?"
"Not real zombies."
"I know that," Rachel replied. Okay, so she wasn't exactly sure of that, but she wasn't going to let Quinn know.
"It's sort of a fun event, we get to dress up as zombies and roam the streets. Like an actual apocalypse."
Rachel was still skeptical. She felt like she needed to let Quinn know that the list she was basing this off of was purely to poke fun at her therapist's weird assignments. Quinn clearly went through some sort of trouble to research this and work it into their trip, so she decided to stay silent on the matter.
"It's for charity," Quinn continued as she picked up her menu again. "What are you going to get? Want to split French fries?"
Rachel wrinkled her nose. She was going with a salad but agreed to split fries with Quinn. Rachel learned her lesson when it came to stuff like that. The day before Quinn had wanted to split french-fries and Rachel politely declined. Needless to say, they got into an argument an hour later when the blonde continued to moan about not getting the damn fries.
"Hmm?" She responded absentmindedly as she continued to browse the menu.
"If you're going to continue leading me on this blind road trip, can you at least give me more information when we arrive at these destinations?"
"I'm going with the turkey club," she decided and closed her menu. "Sorry, what did you say?"
"Nothing," she sighed. "When does this walk start?"
"3 o'clock. They have makeup artists at the venue, and we can find a thrift store to get some old clothes."
"Why do you have your worry face on then?"
"I don't have a worry face."
Quinn studied her, "What's the matter? We don't have to go if you don't want to. It was a silly idea anyway."
Quinn was closing up on her, and fast. She has experienced this insecure side of the blonde before and she hated being the cause of it. She shut down quickly, and she often couldn't be brought out of her mood for at least an hour. She would get quiet and offer one-word answers, or act indifferent towards everything.
"Don't." Rachel warned her.
They stared each other down. She could always tell she was dealing with this side of Quinn if the blonde broke eye contact first.
The last time it happened, Quinn asked her if she wanted to go to the movies with her and naturally she agreed. The problem arose when Quinn tried to pay for her ticket and Rachel accidently made a comment about it not being a date. She had never seen the blonde retreat back into her shell so fast.
Quinn's gaze faltered and she busied herself by concentrating on rearranging the various flavors of jelly on the table.
Rachel reached out and stilled her hands, "Am I allowed to pick out our outfits?"
She watched carefully as Quinn glanced up at her through long eyelashes, a hesitant smirk stubbornly started to show, as if she couldn't help it, "That depends."
Rachel dipped her head and smiled, "On what?"
A full-blown smile broke out on Quinn's face and she shook her head, attempting to keep a straight face but clearly failing effortlessly.
The waitress came to the table with her pen poised so she could take their order. Quinn had a nervous habit of fidgeting when she was in the presence of strangers and Rachel noticed the glance the waitress gave to their overlapped hands.
She squeezed Quinn's hand before pulling it back and looked up to the waitress, "Yes. I'll have the Iceberg wedge; house Italian is fine for the dressing. She'll have the Turkey club, no mayo, and a side of fries."
Quinn kept her eyes trained down as the brunette ordered for the both of them and didn't look up until the waitress was through the door and in the kitchen.
"So, what are we going to dress up as?"
"I can't believe I agreed to this," Quinn stated as she looked at herself in the mirror.
The makeup artist they found did an exceptional job, she hardly recognized Rachel under all the fake blood.
"I think you look handsome," Rachel joked from behind her.
Quinn turned a glare on the girl to find her simply chuckling behind her hand.
"I don't understand why I'm the one that has to be the guy."
"The suit fit you."
"I have blonde hair, I should have been Bonnie."
"But you make such a cute Clyde."
Quinn looked at herself in the mirror again. Her hair was pulled back in a low bun, in order to fit the gangster style black hat on her head. Rachel must have had an idea before they even got to the thrift store because she immediately went right over to the men's section to sift through the suits. Quinn should have been paying more attention because before she knew it, Rachel was holding up different clothes to her and making her try on pants and suspenders.
"Perfect!" Rachel had squealed when she found a sheer scarf and matching beret for herself.
Quinn continued to look at herself in the mirror. The worn black dress pants were being held up by black suspenders, and her white dress shirt was ripped in various places, fake blood splattered through out. Her face gave her the creeps though, what with all the blood and black makeup around her eyes. She even had a real looking bullet hole in the middle of her forehead.
Rachel opted for a more dramatic zombie look, and offered to pay the make up artist double to make it happen. She had prosthetic cuts and gashes all over her face, and even a disgusting looking bite mark on her neck.
"We make one fabulous zombie Bonnie and Clyde," Rachel commented from next to her as she handed the blonde a toy gun they bought.
"I think everyone is getting ready to walk," Quinn said and turned around. She was entirely out of her element. The time they dressed up for the football half time show was different. She was with all of her friends. Now, it was just the two of them in a sea full of zombie-obsessed people. They were on their own, somewhere on the coast of New Jersey, and dressed in ridiculous costumes. What was it all for again? What made her even think of doing this in the first place?
She glanced to her right and saw Rachel's amused smile as she admired some of the makeup and costumes of the other people. That's why. It was for Rachel.
It was an entirely stupid idea, she could admit, but she wanted Rachel to let loose and have fun while she still could. She was doing it for herself, too. Maybe she could learn a few things that Lima could never teach her.
"Ready?" Quinn asked, holding out her arm for Rachel to take.
"We have to practice our moans," the brunette commented as they began to walk, "We have to slow down! We're zombies, remember? We're in the middle of an apocalypse!"
"I don't think zombies are coherent enough to recognize that they're in an apocalypse."
Rachel playfully slapped her shoulder and tried out her "zombie moan". Quinn stopped walking and stared at her, trying desperately not to laugh in the girl's face.
"Must eat brains," Rachel said in a low, exaggerated, deep voice and held out her arms.
"Okay, and they don't talk like that." Quinn pointed out.
Rachel rounded on her, "Have you ever been a zombie? I didn't think so. Now moan."
Quinn rolled her eyes; she couldn't believe she was doing this. She let out a groan and once again tried not to laugh at how ridiculous she felt. Then again, everyone around her looked just as ridiculous as she did. Well, almost everyone, there were a few that were over the top, like the guy that was chewing on a plastic arm.
Rachel started to drag her foot as she walked and it didn't take very long before they were both really into it. There were hundreds of fake zombies walking up and down the boardwalk, walking into establishments, moaning, and pretending to bite people that were just trying to enjoy their day. She has never seen anything like it.
The entire event lasted about three hours, and Rachel demanded to stay until the end to see how much money they raised, and how many pints of blood were donated.
"Did you have fun?" Quinn asked as they got off the elevator once they reached their floor.
Rachel moaned in response before chasing her down the hallway.
Rachel turned on the bedside lamp and quietly got out of the bed. It was nearing midnight and Quinn had been sleeping for at least a half hour. They decided to go to bed early, so they could hit the beach in the morning and take advantage of the nice weather they were supposed to have. But there was something Rachel needed to do first.
She walked over to the desk and went through her purse until she found the crumpled piece of paper that was essentially their road map and grabbed a pen.
She smiled down at the paper and glanced over to Quinn as she began to stir from her side of the bed. She groaned and turned away from the light causing Rachel to bite her lip. Clearly, she was still in zombie mode.
She watched as the blonde threw her arm behind her and patted the spot where Rachel had just previously been laying. "Come back to bed," Quinn whined sleepily.
She was overcome with a feeling she wasn't used to and she wasn't sure what it was. She watched as Quinn tossed and turned to face her, shielding her sleepy eyes from the light with an impatient expression on her face. "Are you coming?"
Quinn looked absolutely adorable to her in that moment that she couldn't help but glance down at her piece of paper and cross off another line.
She put the paper in her bag and climbed back into bed where the blonde was waiting for her. It wasn't until she turned off the light that Quinn finally laid back down next to her, the warmth rolling off her body and comforting Rachel in the darkness. She smiled to herself as she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
* From the Desk of Rachel Barbra *
Dreams/Goals/Aspirations as required by Dr. Connor
1. Crowd surf (who does that anymore?)
2. Fly (not in an airplane)
3. Obtain super powers (see above)
4. Survive a zombie attack (without killing any because gross!)
5. Talk to my grandfather (who is dead)
6. Not a care in the world (like that will ever happen)
Rachel scoffed and brought the beer bottle to her lips, tilting her head to squint at her friend in protest, but ultimately she listened.
"It's not fair," she replied, wiping the corner of her mouth with the back of her hand as she dribbled a little beer down her chin.
Quinn laughed, "You picked the game."
"Well, now I'm unpicking it." Rachel decided. "I'm drunk and you're not."
Quinn rolled her eyes, "Fine. What do you want to play now?"
"Let's play…" she trailed off before lighting up, "Rachel tells Quinn when to drink and she listens."
"That's not a—"
"Drink!" Rachel shouted and then laughed as Quinn shushed her.
"You're going to get us in trouble."
Rachel pouted, "You're not following the rules."
The blonde took a healthy sip of her beer and looked to her friend for approval, "Better?"
Rachel sat back in the white rocking chair with a satisfied grin on her face, "Much."
Quinn took another sip and also sat back, letting her feet push off the floor so she could easily rock back and forth on the wooden porch.
They were at a bed and breakfast in Cape May, New Jersey. Another beach town at the southern most tip of New Jersey, a ferry ride away from Delaware. Rachel asked if they could spare a day or two and relax on the beach some more and Quinn easily agreed.
Their bed and breakfast lodge was down the street from a beach access ramp, and although there were rocks obscuring their view of the water, they could still hear the waves crashing on the shore.
It was a peaceful and quiet night, which was why Quinn was so worried about Rachel's voice carrying down the block. The last thing she wanted was for them to get in trouble for underage drinking. Rachel wouldn't last one night in jail.
After a long day in the sun, they found a cute restaurant with an outdoor patio to eat dinner at, and it just so happened that said restaurant neglected to card the girls when they ordered a bottle of wine to go with their food.
The beer didn't necessarily go well with the wine, but they were only 18 years old, they didn't reserve the right to be picky when it came to alcohol. They sat in two of the rocking chairs on the wrap around porch; the six-pack of some foreign beer on the small table between them was getting warmer by the minute.
Rachel laughed before taking another sip and Quinn tilted her head to find out what was so funny.
"What?" the blonde asked when Rachel's smile held in place.
Rachel lulled her head to the side to look at Quinn, her eyebrows scrunching as a way to ask her why she was asking what.
"What's so funny?" she clarified.
The brunette smiled and looked towards the water, "This."
Again, Quinn was baffled. "What?" she asked behind a confused smile.
Rachel shrugged as she gestured around her, "I don't know, just this. That we're here. Together. Sitting on a porch, drinking disgusting beer, and driving down the coast. Don't you find it at all amusing?"
Quinn considered it for a silent moment. Rachel was engaged at the start of the summer. Actually, physically, engaged. She couldn't even legally buy beer for her wedding reception, but she was engaged. Now, just 2 short months later, she was sitting next to Quinn, grasping at whatever was left of their innocence on a last ditch effort to stay young.
What was Quinn doing at the start of summer? What journey had she made? She was so worried about getting Rachel back to her normal independent self, that she forgot about her own life. Maybe that was her journey. She opened up and put someone before herself.
She peeled at the label on the beer, the condensation making it easily come off under her fingernails, "Yeah."
"You're no fun. Drink!"
Quinn laughed this time, bringing the beer to her mouth and guzzling the rest of it. She grabbed another one.
"Impressive," Rachel commented before doing the same. She gasped out for air when she was done and laughed at herself as Quinn opened another beer for her.
"Where do you see yourself in 4 years? When college is said and done?"
They've had this conversation multiple times but the blonde humored her friend, "Landing a lead role on an independent show that has loyal watchers and great writing."
"That's important," Rachel commented.
Quinn sighed, "Hopefully, by the second season, it will really take off, and what once started as a hidden gem will turn into something amazing."
"That sounds really great, Quinn."
She laughed despite herself, "Realistically? I'll probably be moving back in with my mother because I won't have a job and rent will be too high in a city. I'll become a waitress and do Community Theater…" She shrugged as she trailed off.
Rachel frowned, "That's not very optimistic. I think you'll make an amazing actress, Quinn. Look at you, you're beautiful. The prettiest girl in Ohio. They'd be crazy not to put you on TV." She ducked her head and looked down, "I'd watch you."
Quinn felt her cheeks get hotter as she consumed more beer, "Thanks. How about you?"
The brunette smiled brightly, "Well." She rolled up the sleeves of the sweatshirt she borrowed from Quinn and got ready to dive in, "Attending my first Tony awards, obviously not winning in my featured-actress-in-a-musical category, because, let's be honest, who wants to win featured when leading is so much better."
"Obviously," Quinn hummed.
"No. I'll be the humbled and modest loser, but bright young upcoming star. I'll win my two Tony awards two years later, after I put my time into the business."
"Leading actress, and of course Best Musical."
"You know what? Make it Best Original Score, too. Let's give credit where credit is due."
"How kind of you."
Rachel sighed whimsically as she sat back in her chair, "Then I'll be off on a whirlwind adventure. Talk shows, radio interviews, and let's not forget the book tour for my memoir."
"We could never forget that."
"I'll politely turn down the offer to tour with the musical. I'll be too busy with my guest spots on Law & Order and Cougar Town."
She nodded, "I chose both so that movie producers will see my dramatic side, and my sense of humor."
"My solo album is next, it's only the right thing to do. What with my growing fan base and all."
"Can't let the fans down."
"I'll host Saturday Night Live then," she glanced to Quinn, "It will be good publicity and boost record sales."
"I'm sure Lionsgate will want to follow me around on my International tour. Sort of a behind-the-scenes documentary of my life. The raw and gritty stuff that only my closest friends get to witness. You'll be there."
"Oh, will I? That's nice to know."
"Of course! And after winning my Tony, my Grammy for the album, and my Emmy for my guest spots, I'll take Hollywood by storm as I hunt down my Oscar. I'll make my comeback to Broadway a few years after that, as the poised and regal veteran of the stage. A legend, if you will. Hopefully all by the time I'm 40."
She bit her lip, "Crazy?"
"Realistic." Quinn answered instead and laughed, almost blown away. "I actually pictured all of that happening to you."
Rachel lit up, "Really?"
Quinn nodded and rocked in her chair, hesitant about whether or not she should broach the subject that wouldn't leave her mind, "I couldn't help but notice that you didn't mention a marriage to some famous rock star, or something like that."
Rachel considered it for a moment before shaking her head, "Marriage leads to scandal in the entertainment world. Can't trust anyone once you've made it. Besides, famous people have big egos, and I'll already be dealing with my own ego, thank you very much."
"What if you fall for someone that's not famous? Just a regular person? Or even someone you've known forever? Surely, you could trust them?"
Rachel traced her fingertip around the rim of her beer, "Maybe…" She glanced at Quinn but quickly back to her hands when she saw her eyes intently watching her, "I-I don't know." She brushed some of her stray bangs behind her ear, "We'll have to see."
Quinn glanced at her phone, it was nearly midnight but they were both wide-awake and enjoying the breeze that rolled off the ocean. She didn't really want the night to end but they were almost done with their beers. She then realized that they weren't home; it wasn't like they needed to go back to their houses because their parents would worry if they stayed out too late. They were on vacation. They could do whatever they wanted and still have a week to spend together.
She sat up and searched under her chair for her flip-flops while Rachel finished off the remainder of her drink.
"Want to take a walk on the beach?" Quinn asked her.
"I don't think I'll ever get tired of feeling sand beneath my feet," Rachel commented as she bumped into Quinn's side as they sat near the water.
They were leaning back on their hands, admiring the dark water and trying not to think about all the creatures that lurked below the surface.
Rachel flattened herself on the sand so she could look up at the stars. She blindly felt for Quinn's arm and pulled her down to mirror her position. The blonde landed with an oof and playfully slapped Rachel's stomach for knocking her down.
"Hey!" Rachel laughed and crept her hand towards Quinn's side so she could tickle her, or punch her, but she was caught as she felt cold fingers wrap around her wrist.
"Nice try, Berry."
Rachel turned on her side and propped herself up with her free hand as Quinn played with the other one. "Your hands are like creepily bone-y." she commented as she studied them.
Rachel retracted her hand quickly, "They are not!" she looked at them, but couldn't decide if they were or not. "Are they?"
Her doubt only made Quinn laugh harder as she looked up at the girl, seriously amused by everything about the moment they were in. Rachel glared at her and the blonde couldn't do much else but try to breath between giggles. Rachel pounced on top of her, wrestling to gain control over Quinn's arms as they flailed underneath her.
"Take it back, or I'll tell you that your neck is vein-y!"
Quinn stopped moving, "You just did!"
Rachel sat up as she straddled the blonde, "Well, I'll tell you again!"
"Then I'll tell you that your nose is—" Quinn stopped speaking when she caught sight of the warning glare from Rachel, "Is perfect."
A smile crept onto the brunette's face and she started to play with the strings of the sweatshirt Quinn was wearing. "Keep going."
Her jaw dropped playfully, "Me? It's your turn."
Rachel rolled her eyes, "I like…your face. Okay, your turn to compliment me. Tell me how amazing my voice is."
Quinn consciously inched her hands closer to Rachel's tan thighs as they rested on either side of her body. "Nope. What about my face?"
Rachel studied her, "Your eyes…" she gasped lightly when she felt the cold hands palm her warm legs, the contrast felt amazing. "Your freezing hands," she smiled down at the girl as Quinn smirked.
She inched her fingers higher as, coincidently, Rachel began to lower herself closer to her body.
"I like…" Quinn moved her hands away from her thighs and placed them on her hips, squeezing gently, "The way you kiss me."
Rachel backed her face up a bit, doing a slight double take at Quinn's whisper, "You must be drunk."
Her lazy smile answered the statement, "That doesn't mean it's not true."
Rachel felt her insides shudder and she inhaled a quick breath to stable herself. One of Quinn's hands snuck under the elastic of Rachel's sweatshirt and skimmed over her lower back, cooling down the hot skin she found there.
Rachel deflected her words, wanting so badly to give in to Quinn but still wanting to put up some kind of fight.
"Last time this happened, you didn't talk to me for two days." She ducked her head and inched closer to the blonde's face, "Is that going to happen again?"
Quinn's eyes opened and stared into the brown ones above her. She bit her lip and shook her head, her eyes slipped closed again, "You don't know how hard it is for me to resist you."
Rachel's eyebrow quirked at her confession. The first and only time they kissed, they were both drunk at Santana's house for a 4th of July party. They were caught up in a moment, or something like that. It was hazy and it happened so fast. They were kissing, and Rachel was underneath Quinn when all of a sudden the blonde was halfway across the room with wide eyes and a hand covering her mouth. They didn't talk about it. In fact, Quinn didn't speak to her for two whole days after that. It was only when Rachel showed up uninvited and refused to leave until the blonde promised to stop avoiding her.
She couldn't help but think this was one of those drunk words are sober thoughts kind of situations, where Quinn kept a lock on her feelings until she got a few drinks in her. Rachel planned to exploit it. Not to tease her in the future, but because since that night, the brunette hasn't really looked at the blonde the same. She hasn't felt the same, either. If Quinn reciprocated, at least, somewhat, then maybe there was a chance she'd stop feeling so alone and confused.
"Tell me then."
Quinn opened her eyes again, "You know why."
Rachel didn't know why. How could she? Quinn was a closed book on just about everything. She was amazed that she got her to open up this far.
Quinn sighed as Rachel continued to stare down at her, "I can't do the things I want to do with you. Buy you dinner, or take you to the movies, or hold on to you when I can't sleep. I just want to be around you all the time. And I can't. I can't, Rachel. But it's so exhausting trying to fight it away."
"Fight what away?"
Quinn scoffed, "I clearly can't drink around you anymore, either."
Going from a private Quinn to a very open one was giving her whiplash, "Where is all this coming from?"
"You're obviously blind." Quinn shifted from underneath her and Rachel panicked.
"Hey," she reached a hand down and held her cheek, "Don't do that."
"I'm just trying to understand you, that's all."
"All you need to understand is that I'm exactly where I want to be, okay?"
Quinn nodded, "Okay, now get off me. I made a fool of myself and I think it's time for me to go to bed."
She started to sit up but Rachel gently pushed her back, "No."
Quinn looked up at her, amusement twinkling in her eyes, "No?" she laughed softly, "What do you mean, no?"
The brunette leant down, almost entirely covering the top half of Quinn's body, "I'm exactly where I want to be."
Quinn's hand stretched across Rachel's lower back and pulled towards her, lifting up the slightest bit to meet their lips together. Her tongue was oddly warm, and she could taste the remnants of the gross beer they drank from earlier but it only enticed her further. Rachel was without a doubt one of the most hypnotizing kissers she'd ever encountered.
Her hands found the hem of the old Cheerios sweatshirt that she let Rachel borrow since she neglected to pack one and began lifting it off her body. Rachel pushed most of her weight on top of Quinn as she felt the breeze hit her bare skin, hoping to find some kind of warmth with the blonde. Was she crazy, though? It was already freezing by the water when the sun went down, now she wanted Rachel to expose her body to the conditions?
She pulled away from the kiss and grabbed the bottom of the sweatshirt, knocking Quinn's hands out of the way, and pulling the article of clothing over her head. She shivered, the wind hitting her from all directions, and then there was the ice-cold hands roaming all over her back and side. She was out of her mind but wouldn't reconsider her actions for a second. She met Quinn's mouth again, and smirked into the kiss when she heard a faint moan fall passed the blonde's lips. Then, an evil thought entered her mind and she was smiling before she knew it.
Quinn pulled back this time, eyes tracing her face for any clue as to what was so amusing.
Rachel leant close to her ear, "Know what I've always wanted to do?"
Quinn swallowed nervously. What could Rachel want to do at this moment that was more important than kissing her?
Her lips brushed against the shell of Quinn's ear, "Go skinny dipping."
She jumped up and threw down her shorts, leaving them near Quinn's numb body. Her pink bathing suit covered up all the important parts, much to the blonde's dismay, as Rachel ran down towards the water.
The blonde threw her head back and allowed herself to breathe deeply for a few seconds. Rachel did things to her. She needed a moment to recover.
Rachel's shrill scream broke her out of her thoughts, "Of course." She mumbled, "Of course, she wants to go skinny dipping right now. Why not?"
Quinn lifted her own sweatshirt over her head and placed it next to the other one before dropping her shorts. She walked down towards the water but couldn't see Rachel in the darkness right away, she needed time for her eyes to adjust. She could hear her, though, laughing and shrieking as the waves hit her.
"Oh my gosh, Quinn. This is exhilarating. Are you coming?"
Quinn glanced down and saw both pieces to Rachel's bikini lying in the wet sand.
Rachel was fuming.
And not just in a Mr.-Schuester-gave-away-my-solo kind of way. Oh no, it was more of a you-promised-me-that-you-wouldn't-ignore-me-and-then-you-did kind of way, with a side of don't-kiss-me-all-night-long-and-then-pretend-you-have-amnesia-when-you-wake-up. Hmphh.
Now she was the one giving Quinn the silent treatment. Served her right.
They were fine after they drunkenly went skinning dipping; in fact, they'd never beenbetter. They were entirely bare, and not just because they were naked. They were open and Quinn was even sweet to her. They laughed and joked in the water, realizing quickly that the murky ocean was great for covering their bodies, but they still needed to get out of the water and back into their clothes.
"You go first," Rachel told her, attempting to push her towards the beach.
Quinn chattered her teeth, "No way. You go first."
Rachel looked forlornly at her clothing as it sat in the sand before glancing down to her chest, and back towards Quinn, "On three?"
Quinn sighed, it was the only way they were going to get out of the ocean, "You better not look!"
Rachel scoffed. "Like I'd even want to."
Quinn turned to her, skepticism apparent on her delicate face, "Oh really?"
"Okay fine. I'll close my eyes."
After the hassle of quickly trying to get their bathing suits back on, and nearly falling over a few times, they used the communal showerhead to wash their bodies of the salt water. They got back to their room at the bed and breakfast and changed into something that was nice and dry.
Quinn laid on Rachel's side of the bed and shot a teasing smile her way through the mirror as she brushed her hair.
"I know you're not thinking about sleeping on my side."
Quinn quickly closed her eyes and snuggled closer into the pillow.
"Quinn Fabray." Rachel warned as she set her brush on the dresser and walked towards the girl. "Move over right now."
She loomed over the blonde as she pretended to sleep, hands posed on her hips, waiting for her to show a smile. One hazel eye opened, then two, then, "Make Me."
Rachel knew what it was. She could sometimes see right through her blonde friend, who thought she was oh-so-clever. Oldest trick in the book. Finn would do this to her sometimes when he was trying to be coy. It never worked for him. But, Quinn? Oh. It definitely worked for her. They weren't at that stage where one of them could walk up to the other and kiss them because they felt like it. They had to be more tactful than that. Sneakier, too. It was a well thought out game of sexual Chess. Quinn moved her pawn, and now it was Rachel's turn to capture it. Every action was a skilled and meaningful one, building them up, in order to get them back to the place where it was okay to kiss whenever they felt like it.
It was really all just a big game. Quinn wasn't the type of girl to just act on impulse—well, most of the time; in actuality she was shy and insecure. Rachel was the same way. It was rather adorable to see the blonde staring up at her, eyes dancing with mirth, daring her to play her little game. Such a tease.
Sure, why not? She'd flirt with Quinn.
"You'd like that, wouldn't you?"
Quinn bit her lip as she tilted her head to get a better read on the brunette. Finally, she shrugged indifferently and grabbed the remote, as if she was utterly bored, "You couldn't move me if you tried."
A challenge. Well played, Fabray. The day Rachel Berry backed down from a challenge was the day that… well, she backed down from a challenge. And, that was never. Determination crept into her mind; she was no loser. She was the captain of a nationally ranked show choir team and it only took her three years to do so. She could move Quinn Fabray from one side of the bed to the other. Suddenly, she forgot why she was doing this.
"Aren't you ticklish?" she asked casually, eyeing potential body parts to attack.
Quinn looked up at her, eyes narrowing as she gaged Rachel's face, "You wouldn't."
"You should know by now that there isn't a thing I wouldn't do to win."
Quinn rolled her eyes, grabbed Rachel's arm, and pulled the girl on top of her. "There. You win."
She scrunched her nose, "What do I win?"
Rachel leant up a bit and stared down at the girl, "Well, that's a tad egocentric, don't you think?"
Quinn laughed lightly, "Shut up."
Rachel's mind beamed with pride as she gently lowered herself, "Make me."
They woke up, in pretty much the same position they fell asleep in, with Rachel resting her head on Quinn's chest as the blonde held her arm around her. It wasn't fair, she thought as she wiped drool from the corners of her lips, just how simply stunning Quinn looked when she slept. The blonde eventually stirred awake, probably able to feel the stares coming from Rachel, and smiled down at the brunette. It was brief though, as if she realized she wasn't dreaming, and she was actually waking up to a girl cuddled against her. Rachel could practically hear her mind as she shifted away and got out of bed, mumbling that she was going to take a shower, and find some coffee for their hangovers.
Quinn busied herself the entire morning by packing up their bags and looking at the Atlas map from her car. Who even used maps anymore? Rachel realized she probably just needed something to look at so the brunette would think she was busy. It hurt. She was so close to Quinn the night before, in every way, and now they were back to being the Cheerio and drama queen. Quinn was downplaying everything, and Rachel just knew if she were to bring it up, the blonde would belittle her. Her mind was her own worst enemy. Every conversation she played out in her head automatically had her pissed off at hypothetical Quinn. It was amazing how mad she could get at someone that wasn't even doing anything; the sheer silent presence alone was making her angry.
The last thing she needed was to be cooped up in a car with this person. After Quinn asked if she was ready to go, they didn't say a word to each other until they pulled into a Holiday Inn parking lot, somewhere in Delaware.
Even then it was only, "I'll go see if they have a room."
Rachel sat in the car and kicked the dashboard as Quinn disappeared through the revolving doors. "Ridiculous," she muttered under her breath.
Quinn came back out, 10 minutes later, with a small pamphlet for their key cards. "We're on the 5th floor." She said as she got back in the driver's seat and parked the car.
They grabbed their bags and walked through the lobby, Rachel noted the exercise room and nodded. She knew how to release some steam. She missed her elliptical at home.
Quinn opened the door and threw her bags down on one of the beds. One of the beds. Which meant there were two. She threw her bags down on the opposite bed and rifled through to find something to workout in.
"Where are you going?" Quinn asked, finally realizing that Rachel was huffing around the room.
"I thought we could go to the—" Quinn's words were cut off by the slamming of the main door, "Mall." She sighed and threw her head back into the pillows.
Rachel got back up to their room, nearly 3 hours later, and felt a little better about what was going on between the two of them. She did straight cardio for an hour, the exercise bike for another, and topped off her workout session with an hour on the elliptical. She also picked up some fabulous tips from Rachael Ray and got heavily invested in Days of our Lives.
The bathroom door was closed so she sat on her bed, noting the multiple shopping bags on Quinn's bed, but not curious enough to peek through them. Finally, the blonde left the bathroom.
"Where have you been?" she asked.
"Working out, I said. Where did you go?"
Something caught Rachel's eye so she turned towards the blonde, except, she wasn't so blonde anymore.
"What did you do to your hair? Why is it pink?"
"What? Oh. I dyed it."
"For tonight." She replied casually.
"Punk night at the bar down the road."
"How do you expect to get into a bar?"
Quinn laughed, "I did it all the time with the skanks."
"So, you're just going to waltz into the bar, with pink hair, and expect to be let in?"
"Have fun with that."
"You're coming with me."
"I am not. They'll never let me into a bar."
Quinn tossed her a shopping bag from Hot Topic, "Yes. They will."
She pulled out some of the clothing, mostly black, and a few pieces of what looked like blue hair extensions, "You can't be serious."
Quinn only smiled and dumped out some of the other bags, similar clothing as to what Rachel had in her lap, "It will be fun."
She held up a checkered tie, "How is this going to be fun? I'll look like Tina."
Quinn shrugged and continued to sift through her accessories.
Rachel eyed her curiously, "You get off on stuff like this, don't you?"
Quinn nearly choked on her tongue, "Excuse me?"
"I'm just saying, first with the Skanks, and now this?"
"It's one night of fun."
"You dyed your hair."
"It's from a can, it will wash out when I take a shower."
"I thought you'd like it, a chance to play a character, get into a new role."
Quinn stopped what she was doing and looked at Rachel, "Don't do that."
Rachel crossed her arms over her chest, "I'm not doing anything."
"Tell me, Quinn, what am I doing?"
"No. Tell me."
"I don't feel like fighting, Rachel."
"Fine. We'll go back to ignoring each other then." She threw the shirt down and got off the bed.
Quinn stopped her from walking by standing in front of her, "What. Is your. Problem."
"Nothing at all," She replied, too cheery to be real. "Everything is perfect."
Quinn stared at her, grinding her teeth together to control her anger, as Rachel acted innocent and carefree. "Fine." She replied coolly after a long ten seconds and stepped aside.
Rachel slammed the bathroom door shut and turned the shower on.
As it turned out, the bar they went to was 18+, so they didn't exactly need to dress like they did, but it didn't hurt their cause. They fit in better with the rest of the patrons and no one looked at them strangely, contrary to Rachel's beliefs.
It seemed to be some sort of Battle of the Bands night, because this was the 4th group to take the stage since they arrived. Quinn had her pink hair back, a black Ramones t-shirt on, with black skinny jeans and checkered Vans sneakers.
Rachel couldn't understand a word the lead singer was saying, since when was screaming into a microphone considered singing? She was just bitter, though. The tension between her and Quinn hadn't dissolved, and now she was listening to head banging music but was too angry to do anything except sulk silently. It helped her appearance tremendously, few people even offered to buy her a drink, which she would have accepted had Quinn not swooped in at the last second to claim her. She was twirling her blue extensions between her fingers as she watched the band perform, then she realized something.
"What are we doing here?" she shouted over the bass.
"Yeah, I know!" Quinn yelled back.
"No." she moved closer, "Why are we here?"
She glanced to the crowd and pointed towards it, Rachel's eyes followed but she still didn't understand. Then she saw something that reminded her of something else, and she realized why Quinn dragged her out to some dive bar dressed like a stylish vampire. Suddenly she just knew, there was no way Quinn was going to let her leave until she crowd surfed.
"Ready?" Quinn said, and pulled her arm towards the center of the crowd—more like, mosh pit.
Rachel tried to protest, she really didn't need to be manhandled and felt up by hundreds of sweaty strangers but Quinn was on this kick that this was something the brunette needed.
Before she knew it, some man—presumably named Earl, was hoisting her tiny body over his head, and literally throwing her into the sea of hands. She closed her eyes and braced herself for the fall, hoping to land on her limbs like a cat, and army crawl her way out of the bar, but she was weirdly surprised when she felt hands under her. Lots of hands. Touching her everywhere but she couldn't pick out a certain set. If she had her rape whistle, well, they'd all be in big trouble. It felt strange at first, but then it felt like nothing at all. Nothing she could explain, at least. She laid back, once again surprised that the crowd of separate people somehow worked in unison to keep the brunette above their heads. They were pros at this! The music was loud, louder than it was at ground level, but she adapted to it. She looked across the crowd and saw Quinn also hoisted up into the crowd. She was smiling before she could tell herself not to. Damn this girl, for being absolutely amazing when all she wanted to do was be mad at her.
She was eventually worked towards the stage where there were big, burly men in yellow security shirts that helped her down and escorted her to an area away from the crowd. Quinn joined her soon enough.
"That was amazing!" she said, "Let's go again!"
It was amazing. And exhilarating, and she's glad she put it on her therapist's stupid list, but she suddenly felt foolish for finding it so fun when she was still angry with the blonde. She wasn't ready to let it go.
"You go ahead."
Quinn tugged her arm, "What's wrong?"
Rachel held her head, suddenly feeling a headache coming on, "Can we not do this here?"
"Do what here?"
Rachel turned and walked away from her, needing to get out of the dark bar with loud music and insanely dressed people. It wasn't her scene. She could faintly hear Quinn calling her name as she followed her out of the bar, and it wasn't until she was attempting to hail a cab on the sidewalk that the blonde finally caught up with her.
"What is the matter with you?"
"Nothing," Rachel coincidentally yawned, "I'm just tired."
"And a horrible liar, apparently."
"You should talk."
"What am I lying about?"
Rachel turned around, "Everything."
Quinn glanced around and saw that they were attracting some attention from the smokers outside so she guided Rachel further down the sidewalk and away from the onlookers.
She closed her eyes and ran a hand through her pink hair, when she opened them again, she seemed calmer, "Okay," she started softly, "Tell me what's wrong."
Rachel hated being this person. This nagging and stubborn person, but it came out at the worst times and she wasn't able to cage it. Finn was easy, he tended to give in to her so she'd get her way; there was no fight or passion. Quinn was different. She almost wanted the blonde to fight her… to fight for her. She wanted her to admit her feelings, and settle Rachel's doubt. Could she put that much pressure on the blonde? Was it fair? Absolutely not. Was she going to do it anyway? You bet.
"Do you regret last night?" She asked plainly.
Quinn's face contorted in confusion, "What? Rachel, what are you talking about?"
She shrugged, "Do you even remember?"
"Of course I do."
"Okay, so why the silent treatment? If you remember it, then you obviously regret it."
She was obviously hurt, "Why would you say that?"
"It's an easy conclusion to reach, with the way you've been acting all day."
That seemed to light a fire under Quinn, "The way I've been acting? What about you?"
"What about me?"
"It's a two way street, Rach, you haven't exactly been talking to me either."
"Okay, fine, I was mad at you." Rachel admitted.
Why was she mad?
"Because you acted like last night meant nothing."
"Of course, it meant something to me. That's why I've been quiet, you moron, I don't know what it means to me, and I'm trying to figure it out."
Well, now the brunette felt a little stupid, "So… why didn't you just say that?"
"I'm not that kind of person, I can't just say what's on my mind."
Rachel didn't understand, "Why not? It's easy."
"Because, I'm not you, okay? I woke up this morning, next to a girl, and it's a little confusing for me."
"Oh please, we've been waking up next to each other all week."
"Well, it was different."
"How? How was it different?"
Quinn seemed to shrink back into her body, "Can we just forget it?"
Rachel refused to give in and just forget about it, how could she? "No. You told me last night that you could barely resist me, that you've never felt this way about anyone, that you wanted to spend the rest of our trip at that bed and breakfast because everything was perfect. I shared things with you, too, Quinn. Things I've never said to anyone…not even Finn. So no, I want to know what changed."
"Nothing changed. I still can't resist you, or say no to you, and I haven't felt this way about anyone. It's what's going to change. Next week, you'll be in New York and I'll be in New Haven. I want all of you, Rachel, and it's quite impossible to do that when we're in different states, don't you agree? I woke up this morning and everything felt right, but it's wrong, it's so wrong. We can't start something that's going to end in a few days. It's just not fair, to either of us."
Rachel listened to everything she was saying to her, reminding herself that they were in the middle of a heated discussion and that it wasn't the time to throw her arms around the girl, "So you've just made that decision for us? All on your own? I don't get a say?"
"What would you say?"
"That you are pretty, Quinn, but you're so very stupid."
"Is that why you got two separate beds?"
"What? No." she threw her head back towards the sky, as if she was cursing someone, "That wasn't me. That's all the hotel had left, there's freshman orientation at the university and the place is almost entirely booked. Is that what you thought?"
"What else would I have thought?"
"The battle that's been going on in my head all day is exhausting. I know I should distance myself from you, but I just can't."
"I don't want you to."
"I'll hurt you, I've hurt everyone around me."
"You haven't hurt me yet, and I know you won't."
Quinn shook her head in disbelief, "I hurt you today."
"No. I should have been more understanding. I shouldn't have been rude to you. I'm sorry."
"You're apologizing to me?" Her voice cracked a bit, and it was then that the brunette noticed the glistening of tears starting to coat Quinn's eyes. Maybe they needed to just relax and take it easy for a bit. It had been a mentally taxing day for the both of them, after all.
Rachel shrugged, "Can we get out of these clothes?"
Quinn laughed and ran her index fingers under her eyes to fix her eyeliner, "Sure."
They started walking down the sidewalk, waiting for a cab to drive down the street, "Let's just…" Rachel sighed, "Let's just enjoy the rest of our trip, okay?"
Quinn sniffled softly and nodded, "Okay."
"We don't have to think about college, or what's going to happen in a week…I just want to enjoy the time I'm spending with you."
It was silent between them for a few beats, "Do you mean that?"
Rachel turned and looked at her, "Of course." She answered sincerely, "Even if you dress like that for the rest of the trip, I'll still enjoy it."
"No. We're burning all these clothes when we get back."
Part V: World War II
"I don't understand what we're doing here," Rachel commented as she followed Quinn through the wooden area.
They spent the majority of their day yesterday and most of the morning walking around to the different historic sights of Washington D.C., this was their last stop.
"Cemeteries are cool, in a serene way," Quinn commented ahead of her as she glanced at a piece of paper every few seconds.
They bought sandwiches and sat on the Lincoln memorial steps for lunch, and watched in awe as bike riders rode through the reflecting pool. Then, they walked through the American History Smithsonian Museum, and finished their day by taking a trolley for a special night tour of the city.
"They're spooky," Rachel replied, nearly bumping into Quinn as the girl stopped in front of her.
She turned slightly, "It's the middle of the day, what's so spooky about it?"
She dropped her head and looked up at Quinn, "Ghosts don't care."
The girl laughed softly, "C'mon, we're almost there."
"But where is there?" the brunette whined. "I don't understand why we had to stray from the tour guide, we were just about to go to the tomb of the Unknown Soldiers."
They walked through the tiny white gravestones of Arlington National cemetery, careful not to show disrespect by walking over where the caskets presumably where, but around them. There were few other people walking around in the area that they were in, but then again, there was hundreds of acres, so the tourists and loved ones of fallen military personnel could be in other parts of the cemetery. It wasn't as creepy as she was playing it off to be, she just wanted to know where they were going.
"Okay, it's right up here somewhere." Quinn commented and held the piece of paper up. It was obviously a grid of the grave plots, but why? What were they looking for?
Quinn turned around and simply beamed, "Here it is."
Rachel felt like stomping her foot on the grass, she looked at where Quinn was pointing, it was just another row of white gravestones, "Here what is?
"Your grandfather's tomb."
Rachel stopped in her tracks, "My what?"
Quinn held her hand out for the girl to take, and pointed towards the one in front of them, "I know it's not like you're able to hold a conversation with him, but, you can still talk to him." She glanced back to the gravestone and smiled softly, "He can still hear you."
Rachel took her wide eyes off the Berry name etched into the white marble and looked at Quinn curiously. Her faith was always a big part of her life, and Rachel had always known that, even when it seemed like He wasn't cutting the blonde any slack. Her pregnancy, her struggles to discover who she was, her car accident, and the paralysis that followed, it all seemed like a lot to through at one teenager in the span of two years. But Quinn prevailed, and a good portion of why, probably had a lot to do with her faith.
But this was really one of the first times that she'd seen it up close, aside from sitting bedside in Burt Hummel's room at the hospital. She felt Quinn's thumb drawing tiny circles of comfort on her hand as she looked back towards her grandfather—Pop-Pop's grave.
"H-how did you?"
"I know he died when you were young, too young to attend the services, but he was a war hero, and I asked your father about him. He told me how to locate his grave," she turned and smiled, "And there's this fancy thing called the Internet that allows you to search things like this."
Rachel licked her lips, "Thank you."
She smiled as she felt Quinn squeeze her hand.
"Do you want me to give you privacy? Orr?" Quinn started to back away.
Rachel gripped her hand tighter, "No. No, that won't be necessary."
"Okay," she responded softly.
The brunette cleared her throat, "So, should we sit?"
They knelt down on the grass and she smoothed the material of her skirt down, "I've never done this before."
"Say hi," Quinn urged her.
Rachel opened her mouth but didn't do much else, "I feel foolish."
Quinn traced her eyes over the brunette's face, briefly locking onto her brown eyes, before glancing back to the tomb.
"Hi Mr. Berry—err, Sir?"
Rachel giggled softly, "Captain."
"Right. Captain Berry, Sir. I'm Quinn, a friend of your grand daughter's; she's here with me, by the way. We came to say hello."
Rachel rolled her eyes, she was going to have to do this sooner or later, "Hi Pop-Pop, I hope you remember me," she glanced down, "I remember you… a little bit. I was only four when you passed away, but Daddy still tells stories about you…from the war, and how you used to sing Frank Sinatra when you cooked Sunday dinners." She sighed and looked to Quinn for help.
"My father was in the military," she spoke up, "My grandfather, too. Maybe you knew him? Maybe you were even friends?"
Rachel laughed, "Imagine that?" The girls shared a small smile. Then, she cleared her throat, "He didn't approve."
Quinn sent her a questioning glance, asking her to elaborate.
She fiddled with the hem of her skirt, "With their relationship, he didn't approve."
"My parents. He stopped talking to my dad after a while, after he realized that he was…"
Rachel nodded, "I guess…" she trailed off, "I don't know the whole story but…they didn't talk for a very long time."
She shrugged sadly, "I was born."
Quinn shifted closer to her, "It was different back then, I'm sure he just didn't know how to process it."
"How can you turn your back on your own son, though?"
The blonde smiled sadly, "It's a lot easier than you think."
It was silent between them, Rachel not understanding exactly why Quinn's behavior was changing right in front of her, and then she realized, "Quinn, I didn't mean—"
"Hey, it's fine." She replied, "I know."
"It's not right, you know? What happened to you."
"It's in the past," she replied calmly, blowing an unsteady breath out.
Rachel nodded, a strange feeling in her stomach that wouldn't go away, and being stuck in a cemetery wasn't helping her case. She turned back towards the gravestone, "It was nice talking to you, Pop-Pop. We all still miss you."
She stood up then, and waited for Quinn to stand as well.
"We can stay longer if you want," she told her.
Rachel shook her head, taking one last long look at the Berry name, she tugged Quinn's hand and they began walking back the way they came.
"I appreciate this, I appreciate all of this," she told the blonde. "You didn't have to do any of this."
"I know," she answered coolly, "But I wanted to. For you."
Rachel noticed that their hands were still together and smiled, "You're making it harder and harder for me to just be your friend," She said softly. "I know," she continued quickly when she felt Quinn pull away from her, "We talked about it and agreed it was better this way."
Quinn stayed silent on the matter.
Later, back in their hotel room, Rachel sat at the wooden desk with a pen in her hand and a wicked smile on her face.
* From the Desk of Rachel Barbra *
Dreams/Goals/Aspirations as required by Dr. Connor
1. Crowd surf (who does that anymore?)
2. Fly (not in an airplane)
3. Obtain super powers (see above)
4. Survive a zombie attack (without killing any because gross!)
5. Talk to my grandfather (who is dead)
6. Not a care in the world (like that will ever happen)
7. **** Make Quinn my girlfriend ****
It was written down on her impossible dream list, which meant that come hell or high water, it was going to come true.
"It says that the destination will be on our right," Rachel said as she sat up in her seat and tightened her grip on the wheel. She didn't want to miss it.
Quinn lulled her head to the side to glance at her, "I know, I heard it."
"Well, do you see it?!"
Quinn looked back out her window, there was farmland as far as her eye could see. She shrugged, "No."
Rachel leaned forward to touch the GPS, "Maybe you typed in the address wrong."
Quinn swatted her hand away, "Keep your eyes on the road."
They took turns driving down the coast, since Rachel would heavily complain that she was bored when she wasn't driving. Coincidentally, they would always stop for gas whenever Rachel was driving, which meant the brunette would pay for it. Quinn suspected that it was Rachel's way of contributing to their road trip.
"It would help if you told me where I was going."
"You have the weirdest playlist titles on your iPod," the blonde commented instead as she scrolled through the device. "Why do you have a Milkshakes & the American Dream playlist?"
Rachel scoffed lightly, "It's music from the 50s and early 60s."
"And what about Songs from the Milk Carton?"
"Those are songs for when I feel like running away from home," she glanced to see Quinn's skeptical eyebrow, "When I don't get my way. You know, a missing kid on the side of a milk carton."
The blonde dropped her head back in laughter, "You have issues."
"Just pick a song already."
"You have reached your destination."
Rachel slammed on the breaks and both their bodies lunged forward, "Ow!" Quinn yelled, "Jesus!"
"It said that we reached our destination!"
"I heard it." She gritted out. She pointed up ahead, "I'm assuming it's that dirt road up there."
"Are you sure?"
Quinn shrugged, "Yeah."
"That doesn't sound very convincing."
Rachel pulled ahead and turned down the dirt road. There were fields on either side of the road, and after about a half-mile, they drove over an old wooden bridge surrounded by trees. Another hundred yards or so ahead of them was a modest sized home, and what looked to be a warehouse next to it, with a sign that read, Adrenaline Air Sports.
"Just park over here," Quinn told her and Rachel parked next to one of the white trucks.
"What are we doing here?" She asked as she turned the engine off.
Quinn grinned wickedly before she got out of the car.
An elderly man, probably about her father's age, walked down the front steps and waved to the two girls.
"How you girls doin' today?"
Rachel stood behind Quinn, as she tended to do most of the talking when they went to these mysterious places. "I'm Quinn, I called you earlier in the week about—"
"Right, right, I remember you. First timers."
"That's correct," she responded.
The man, with his salt and pepper colored hair, and dark blue jeans, eyed the two girls. Rachel offered a small wave to the man and he smiled back. "No problem, you'll be in good hands with my instructors. Why don't you come on in, we'll get you settled with the video while I get everything ready out back."
Quinn nodded and turned around to make sure Rachel was still with her. "Ready?"
"Where are we?" Rachel asked, eyeing the house with suspicion, "We're just going to go into some strangers' house?"
Quinn held her hand out for the girl to take, "It's a business, Rachel, they're nice people."
"You haven't even met them yet."
"I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be in operation if they were murdering all their clients. Because I know that's what you're trying to figure out."
Rachel rolled her eyes and caught up with the blonde, "Fine. But if I die in there, I'm so coming back to haunt you."
The girls walked up the steps and thanked the man as he held open the screen door. It looked exactly like any other house she'd ever been in, family pictures decorated the walls and the house smelt of apple cinnamon. It seemed relatively harmless, but those were the crazy serial killers you had to watch out for.
"You can go ahead and take a seat on the couch, you girls want anything? Sweet tea?"
"Sure, that'd be lovely." Quinn answered for the both of them. The man disappeared into the kitchen.
The house seemed to have the theme of red, white, and blue, with a side of roosters. Oddly patriotic.
"Next road trip, I'm going to be the one planning it and keeping you out of the loop."
Quinn hummed in response as she looked around the house, "Oh, that's cute." She pointed to the rocking chair in the corner.
"Are you even listening to me?" Rachel asked, nudging Quinn's leg with her own.
The blonde turned and met her eyes, slowly letting them trace over her face, "Of course."
"What did I just say?"
Quinn bit her lip, "That you can hardly handle it when you're not in control of every detail," her smile peeked through, "And yes, you can plan our next trip."
Rachel dropped her jaw as she stared at Quinn, "Not funny."
The blonde tilted her head, "A little bit."
"Hi girls, sorry 'bout the wait." A woman entered the living room, her red hair tied up in a bun, and a white apron that had three letters monogrammed onto the front. Presumably her initials. "I'm Mrs. Porter, but you can call me Marge." She set the tray down on the coffee table and handed each girl a glass of sweet tea. "First timers, Roger tells me. Don't worry, you'll have a blast, your first jump is always the best."
Rachel slowly sipped her tea but couldn't help but feel Quinn tense up a bit. She cleared her throat as she set down her glass, "What exactly will we be doing?"
Marge looked at both girls, one hand on her hip, and a playful smile on her face. She laughed and swatted her other hand towards them, "You're funny. I like you." She commented.
Rachel beamed, "No, but really… My friend here has neglected to tell me what we're doing here… ma'am."
Marge's eyes narrowed as she studied Quinn for a second, "What a little devil," she drawled out before looking back at Rachel, "You're skydivin', dear. Don't worry, best in the state of North Carolina. Let's get you started on the tutorial video while the boys get your gear ready."
Rachel smiled towards the woman, keeping up appearances as she fiddled with the DVD player, and politely waited for her to leave the room before she turned to Quinn.
"Ow," the blonde rubbed her shoulder and set down her glass.
"Skydiving, Quinn? Really? Do you want us both to die?"
"I nearly did die, Rachel, remember? On the way to your wedding?"
"Oh gee, Quinn, no, I completely forgot that I was engaged and set to get married six months ago, only to put the wedding on hold because you were hit by a car. It entirely slipped my mind."
"Yes, of course I know you nearly died, that's why we aren't doing this." She began to stand up, "Let's go. We're leaving."
The blonde tugged back her hand and remained seated, "The movie is about to start."
Rachel bent lower and whispered, "I do not care if the movie is about to start, we aren't jumping out of a plane."
Quinn glanced up at her, "You're the one that wanted to fly."
Rachel dropped her head back. She felt like laughing, "That entire list was a big joke!"
"I know that."
"So then why? Why are we here?" Her hand gestures would have made anyone flinch, but Quinn stood still, refusing to be intimidated.
"Because we're living. Because we can. Because I can."
"I was in a wheelchair."
Rachel was starting to feel offended, "Yes, I know, Quinn."
"Well, do you know how many things I thought I'd never be able to do again? Drive a car, dance, ride a bike…Walk, for goodness sake. I know your list was a joke, but I've never even been on a road trip before this. I thought it would be fun, and something…memorable. If you don't want to, then fine, you don't have to. But I'm jumping out of that plane today."
Rachel stared down at the girl for a few silent seconds before she nodded once and quietly sat back down on the couch.
"Rachel, you don't—"
"Quinn, you're very pretty." She commented as she crossed her legs.
The blonde turned to look at her and rolled her eyes, "But I'm stupid, I know."
"I feel like I'm at a dress rehearsal for Mamma Mia," Rachel commented as she glanced down at her space suit. "Do I look bad?"
Quinn tugged on the belt around her waist before eyeing the brunette up and down, "You look fine."
"The suit makes your butt look big," Rachel replied.
"I can't believe you just said that!"
Someone clapped behind them, "Okay girls, all set? You'll be going up with these two gentlemen, the cream of the crop."
"Oh, are you professional skydivers?" Rachel asked.
"Yes, we are."
"They also beat out the other two clowns in Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who would get to escort you beautiful ladies on the plane." The two boys looked down, one of them blushing in embarrassment, "They're harmless."
"No, funny business," Rachel warned them playfully.
"Best behavior." One of the boys held up his hand, "Scout's honor."
The owner clapped again and gestured toward the plane, "Shall we?"
It was small, enough for four people, two jumpers and their instructors. Rachel felt a little better about leaping to her death after she watched the video of how it all worked. She wasn't just hurling herself out of a moving plane, there would be someone attached to her that would handle all the hard stuff. The more she got into the video, the more anxious she was to actually experience it.
"Ready to feel like a super hero?" Quinn asked her as the plane began moving down the makeshift runway.
"I can't believe you talked me into this," Rachel gripped the edge of the seat as she felt the plane start to lift off the ground a bit.
"We can stop, you don't have to."
She opened her eyes, "I want to, now."
Quinn smiled faintly and reached for Rachel's hand, allowing her to squeeze it as tightly as she needed.
They were coasting through the air at what felt like a leisurely pace but Rachel knew better… they were nearly 10,000 feet in the air, probably more.
Both instructors unbuckled their seat belts and began moving around the small cabin, presumably getting everything ready for their jumps.
"Who wants to go first?" one of them asked.
Quinn and Rachel glanced at each other, they hadn't discussed this part and it appeared that maybe they should have. Panic set in as Rachel began weighing the pros and cons. If she went first, she would get it over with and if she went second she could see how it actually worked but there was the very high chance that she would chicken out. She made up her mind.
"I will," she shouted and raised her hand slightly so she would be noticed.
"Are you sure?" Quinn asked her once the instructors went back to getting everything ready.
Rachel nodded and closed her eyes, continuing to grip Quinn's hand tightly. The brunette insisted that they watch certain parts of the video twice in order to be fully prepared for what awaited them.
"Two minutes ladies," the instructor shouted.
Time for a self pep talk. Upon exiting the aircraft she'd be freefalling at 120 miles per hour for approximately 40 second, she so had this. She wouldn't let the height freak her out. Quinn spent the last 12 days attempting to make this trip memorable for Rachel and now it was her turn to do something for Quinn. She needed this. Besides, after the 40 seconds of pure terror, she got to deploy her parachute and enjoy a five to seven minute canopy ride in order to enjoy the scenery. Or to recuperate, either one.
She knew Quinn was worth it.
She laughed inside her mind as she imagined what her father would say once he found out she plunged out of an aircraft. He'd surely kill her. At least she had a great comeback for the typical Oh and if she told you to jump off a bridge, you'd do it? line. Absolutely not, but she would jump out of an airplane.
She opened her eyes and saw her instructor gesturing toward her to stand up. She squeezed Quinn's hand and got up. The blonde followed since she'd be jumping a minute after Rachel.
The door was open and it was beyond loud. They didn't attempt to say anything witty or clever before they were strapped to their instructors, they just shared a glance, a smile, and shook their heads as if they both knew how crazy they were.
Rachel felt her lungs leave her throat, surely they were floating somewhere next to her. It took her a few seconds to realize that she could open her eyes since she was wearing goggles, even if she couldn't make anything out. She panicked briefly, forgetting that the instructor was still attached to her. She could barely feel him but after a few more seconds, she got used to the wind whipping past her and started to enjoy the rush. It was pure excitement vibrating through her body; an exhilarating feeling that she didn't know could exist. If she thought performing in front of a sold out crowd for a national competition was electrifying, she was sorely mistaken.
She truly felt like she was flying. Like she was Superman. She couldn't think much, let alone attempt to remember some of the techniques the video talked about, so she just let the instructor guide them through the air and enjoyed every moment.
She felt the jerk and realized the parachute was out, time to take in the scenery.
"Oh my god," she breathed out, "Oh my god."
"That was amazing!"
"Eh, it was okay."
She attempted to look at the man she was attached to, he was obviously joking, but she couldn't quite turn around. Instead, she looked out and took in the breathtaking view.
She was listening to the instructions as she approached the ground. The company calculated every aspect of the jump in order to insure they would be landing within a few hundred feet of their privately owned airport. She was overall extremely impressed. Naturally, she had her doubts at first but then she remembered that Quinn was the one planning this trip and she probably researched the hell out of her options. She braced herself for the ground and luckily she was shorter than her jumpmaster so he took care of the awkward running that needed to happen when they hit the grass. The slight dizziness she experienced in the beginning was long gone and now that she was on solid ground, she was anxious to get out of her harness and find Quinn.
She heard the unclicking and glanced toward the sky, Quinn was soon about to hit land. She couldn't wait to find out how her experience was.
Was it everything she thought it would be? Was it above and beyond her expectations? Was it something she wanted to do again? She couldn't wait to find out. She was still breathing fairly heavy and the adrenaline rush didn't seem to be subsiding. How long would she feel like this? It was amazing.
She jogged over to where the two landed and waited for Quinn to be unbuckled before she tackled her in a hug.
"That was amazing!"
"Did you have fun?"
"Yes. Did you?!"
Quinn nodded against her shoulder and stepped back as the instructor approached.
"Now we just have to burn these videos onto a DVD for you to take home and you're all set. Just follow us back to the warehouse."
The girls nodded and Rachel began following the instructor before Quinn pulled her wrist lightly to stop her.
Quinn gently pulled Rachel closer and leaned forward to kiss her softly. Rachel wasn't sure what was going on but she went with it. Who was she to protest? When Quinn Fabray kissed you, you kissed back.
The blonde pulled away, "That's all I thought about doing on the way down." She said, still out of breath from her jump.
Rachel smiled, flattered that she was on the blonde's mind for that long; it did wonders for her ego, "Really?"
Quinn blushed and licked her lips, "I need to be with you, I can't not be anymore." She shook her head, "That doesn't make sense…I want—"
Rachel cut her off, "It makes perfect sense."
"I just kept thinking, what if the parachute cord snapped and I died?"
"Don't tell me that. You were thinking that? If this was a concern why didn't you share it with me?!"
"The point is that it doesn't make sense to hold back with you. I don't care, I will do whatever I need to. I'll take a train to see you every weekend, I'll call you every night before bed, Hell, I'll even Skype with you in order to watch corny movies together. Whatever you want. And if you don't want this, then I'll fight you until you do. And I'm a fighter. I'll charm your pants off. Okay, that came out wrong but you know what I mean. I think it's the adrenaline talking, I feel like I just drank ten Red Bulls. But I mean it, I will do anything it takes to be with you. I can—"
"I physically can't."
"I want this—you."
"Really? But it's me… you're sure?"
"You're pretty Quinn, but you're so very, very stupid."
"Rach, the GPS said to make a right turn."
The brunette continued to tap her fingers on the steering wheel as she waited for the car in front of her to make the left turn before the light turned red.
She huffed, "Monica is obviously mistaken."
"First, we talked about naming inanimate electronics, and second, I let your first three wrong turns go, it's time to listen to the GPS."
"She's obviously wrong. I know how to get to my dorm room."
"We should have been there twenty minutes ago."
"Maybe we should just go right to the restaurant, I don't need to check in at the college yet."
Quinn sighed and sat up in her seat in order to turn the music down, "Rach, it's not the end of the world. And it's not like I'm just dropping you off and leaving you. We still have two more days together, I don't have to be at orientation until Wednesday afternoon."
"I'm sure you're sick of me and can't wait to get up to New Haven."
"Hey, don't talk like that. You know I wish we were going back to Lima so we could have a few more weeks of summer."
"What if my roommate is crazy? Or worse? A sex fiend?"
Quinn almost snorted, "I'm sure you can out-crazy her if you really wanted to."
"Besides the point."
"Okay, let's make a deal."
Rachel huffed, "I decline said deal."
"You haven't even heard my proposal yet."
"It's going to be a lot of sweetly said words disguised as a good idea but it will just trick me into doing something I don't want to do."
Quinn continued anyway, "We go to the college and check in, we bring a few things to your room and ensure that you get the side of the room that you want."
"We'll meet your Dads for lunch and stay in the hotel with them tonight. Tomorrow we'll finish moving you in, and I'll stay with you in your dorm tomorrow night, how does that sound?"
"What's the catch?"
"We stop making wrong turns and get to your dorm, I'm starving."
Rachel smiled and made the turn on the next street, waiting for the GPS to re-route them.
"When I opened my acceptance letter, I never imagined that you would be the one to make the trip with me to New York."
Quinn hummed in response as she settled back in her seat, "I guess a lot can happen in a few months."
"I also never imagined you would be the one that I dreaded saying goodbye to."
"Peach!" Hiram Berry began to stand from his seat and waved both hands in an embarrassing display of excitement. He was causing a scene in the middle of the restaurant.
Rachel squealed and took off towards her fathers. Luckily there weren't too many people in the restaurant.
"Oh thank goodness, you're alive." He held her by her shoulders and studied her, "And no visible tattoos! Joyous occasion!"
"How was your trip?" LeRoy asked his daughter as he embraced her in a hug.
She glanced at Quinn shyly, "Amazing."
Rachel's fathers hugged Quinn and thanked her profusely for getting their daughter to New York in one piece and the four sat down at the table to catch up.
"What are you thinking about having?" Her father peered over his glasses across the table at his daughter, "First official meal as a student in New York."
Rachel perused the menu and shrugged with a frown. She wasn't sure. She leaned over to look at Quinn's menu as if it was different, "What are you getting?" she asked.
Quinn was eyeing the Wraps and Sandwiches section of the menu, "I'm deciding between the Turkey Club and the Chicken Pesto wrap," she turned to meet Rachel's curious gaze, "I think you'd like this Roasted Veggie melt," she pointed.
Rachel read the description off of Quinn's menu, "Split fries?"
Quinn smiled, "Of course."
Rachel nodded, "I think you should try the pesto wrap."
Quinn could be oddly indecisive about things, and Rachel thought that she had enough turkey clubs for one two-week span. Quinn closed her menu and took a sip of her iced water as she waited for the waitress to come back.
Hiram set down his menu as well, he brought his finger tips to his temples before pointing to the girls, "So tell me, tell me, how was your trip?"
"Amazing," Rachel beamed, not really knowing another word to describe it, "We went all over," she said, subtly dropping her hand under the table and resting it on Quinn's thigh.
She smiled as she felt Quinn's hand cover hers.
She had to bite her lip to prevent letting out a girly squeal. She felt so incredible about everything that transpired between them since Quinn rescued her at the beginning of the summer. She had a true friend.
"Yes, yes, tell me, how was the zombie walk? Was it a sight to see?" he asked.
Rachel glanced to Quinn who smiled around her wine glass of water, "How did you know?"
She checked in with her father's every other day with a text message or phone call but she didn't really go into much detail about her activities, feeling that it would be better to tell them when she saw them in person. She could accurately describe her trip better with hand gestures.
LeRoy leaned forward with a chuckle, "You didn't think we approved the itinerary before you left?"
"I didn't…realize," she shook her head, confused.
The fact that Quinn made sure to get approval somehow made her feel safe, like the blonde wouldn't have just carelessly driven her around the country. Not that she minded at the time, but it was a nice surprise to know that her fathers trusted Quinn enough to allow it all.
She squeezed her thigh in appreciation.
"Snorkeling in North Carolina was especially exciting," Quinn added as she turned Rachel's hand over so she could tangle their fingers together.
Rachel couldn't recall going snorkeling, had she forgotten that part? What was North Carolina again? Her eyes widen slightly, that was skydiving.
She was quick to act, "So breathtakingly beautiful, Daddy, you would have loved it."
Hiram looked like he could have cried, "Oh I bet, just magnificent, I'm sure."
Rachel tossed Quinn a smile. It was their little secret and she loved that. She tucked a piece of hair behind her ears and brushed her bangs slightly, "It was my favorite part."
"Quinn, what was your favorite part?" LeRoy asked her as he buttered a piece of bread.
"Oh gosh," she stalled, "We stayed at a cute bed and breakfast in New Jersey for two days. We went to the beach and even went night swimming," her eyes dazzled with excitement and Rachel smiled as she recalled them skinny-dipping and the activities that led up to their spontaneous night swimming.
"Oh how fun!"
"It was a lot of fun, I'm sad to be back to real life," she replied.
Rachel sighed, really trying hard not to show her disappointment in being in New York already. Don't get her wrong, she couldn't wait to start school and begin the next chapter of her life, but she also wouldn't mind putting it off for a few more days. She was accepted and she had finally made it here, so what's a few more days? Especially if she could spend those days with Quinn.
It was a foolish thought because Quinn was starting her classes at Yale in less than a week so her time with the blonde was running dangerously close to E. She wished that she could hop back in the car, fill it with gas, and drive.
Her and Quinn created this nice little bubble, just the two of them, and now it was popped. For the last two weeks, it was just the two of them, and they learned to depend on each other for things. Quinn would let Rachel shower first because the brunette took longer for her hair to dry, and when they stopped for gas, Rachel would pay and make sure to grab a snack for Quinn inside the convenience store of the gas station. They just worked.
Now Rachel was going to have to get used to having a roommate that wasn't Quinn. She'd also be all alone and that thought terrified her. She shook off the thoughts because Quinn was still there and she still had some time left with her and she planned on enjoying it.
She stared at Quinn as she smiled and blushed, talking with her fathers and telling them about their trip. She wasn't listening to their words but she didn't need to, she was just content to watch Quinn. She was charming. And her fathers simply adored her. They'd probably love to find out that they kissed, and that Quinn had been really romantic the previous night when they went out for dinner before finding a movie theater nearby their hotel. She couldn't wait to gush to them but for now she was okay with keeping their intimate time together a secret. The waitress showed up and Rachel snapped out of her daze to order the vegetarian wrap.
Hiram stared at her from across the table with a sparkle to his eyes, "You're growing up so fast," he started, choking himself up, "I know, I promised," he turned to his husband who placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, "But look at her, she's such a grown up."
LeRoy smiled, "A beautiful young lady you turned out to be."
Rachel ducked her head, feeling bashful that her fathers were already starting with the emotional waterworks. She wasn't expecting them until she said goodbye in two days.
Quinn squeezed her hand before reaching for her water and raising it up slightly, "To Rachel, who's going to do amazing things."
"Here, here," LeRoy beamed and raised his glass. Hiram was next.
They toasted to the brunette and she added, "And to Quinn, for being amazing."
They clinked glasses again before segueing into Quinn's plans for when she leaves New York to set out for New Haven.
"I wish I could come with you to see your dorm," Rachel pouted as she sat on her newly purchased comforter set. She was ripping open a package of colorful expo markers so she could start using her new dry-erase calendar.
Quinn was sitting at her computer desk, attempting to get the Internet hooked up as she read the directions the university provided.
"You can visit when you settle in," She told her, distractedly.
"So, your mom is meeting you there?"
"What?" Quinn turned in the swivel chair and gave up on the computer. She got up and walked over to the bed, "Yeah. I'm driving there, she's meeting me, and then taking my car home."
"What about all of your things?"
"My suitcases are in the trunk of the car, and we mailed some things. We're going shopping when we get there to buy everything else."
Rachel held up two markers, "What color for my Rhetoric and Language course?" Quinn chose the red one before lying on the bed, "What color will you pick for your bedding?"
Quinn hummed, "I'm thinking green… maybe a light blue."
"I like green," Rachel said as she began to write on her board, "It will match your eyes."
"You don't even know what color my eyes are," Quinn teased, covering them with her arms.
"Hazel," Rachel answered.
"Okay, fine. That was an easy one."
"Oh please," Rachel rolled her eyes, "I know everything about you."
Quinn turned over on her stomach so she could see Rachel better, "Oh yeah? What's my favorite musical group?"
Rachel put her board down and tapped the marker to her lip, "It's a cross between The Eyre Affair and Catcher in the Rye."
Quinn squinted, "TV Show."
"You have a weird obsession with that Law & Order show," she pursed her lips, "But I believe it's Friends because you've never once turned it off."
Quinn shook her head, "Have you been stalking me?"
Rachel shrugged, "No. Just attentive. Did you know that I was named after Rachel from friends?"
"I did not."
"Oh yeah, big Friends fans."
"Rachel is my favorite character on the show."
"Is Rachel your favorite character in real life?"
Quinn shrugged and rolled onto her back to stare at the ceiling, "You're the know it all, you should be able to tell me."
Rachel was hovering above her before she could blink, "I think she is."
The blonde attempted to hide her smile but Rachel's goofy face was too contagious, "You're a jerk." she bit her lip before leaning up to kiss her.
Rachel's roommate hadn't made an appearance yet and her fathers were off at some question and answer session for freshman parents, so it was just the two of them for a bit longer.
"Your jerk?" Rachel asked softly as she backed away, denying the kiss temporarily.
"Do I have a choice?"
Rachel bit her lip and shook her head with a teasing smile, "Nope."
"Then I guess I'm stuck with you."
She stared at her bulletin board, her eyes watering from her lack of blinking. They were already red and raw from crying all afternoon. She had just said goodbye to Quinn and her fathers. She couldn't believe that this day was here. The day where she was officially on her own. Her trip with Quinn was officially over. Her fathers were driving back to their small town in Ohio, Quinn was off to start her Ivy League education, and Rachel was in New York.
It felt so surreal.
She could still feel Quinn's cool lips pressed against hers, the lingering scent of her perfume, and if she closed her eyes, it was like she was still there with her. She wished she were. It hurt her heart to realize that Quinn was actually gone. That tonight, they're not going to bicker over what movie to watch, or argue about the correct pronunciation of drawer.
Rachel still maintains that the -er is meant to be silent.
She was sad and she wasn't really expecting this feeling to hit her as she stood in her dorm room the day before her classes started. Surely she thought she'd be nervous and excited, but not sad. Especially, sad over the fact that Quinn is gone.
At the start of the summer, the thought never would have crossed her mind. But then Quinn forced herself further into Rachel's life, in all her charming glory, and solidified her place in the brunette's future. Damn her.
She was so very pretty, and maybe, just maybe, so very smart.
Rachel closed her eyes.
"You promised," Quinn told her, lightly reprimanding her, "You promised you wouldn't cry when we said goodbye."
"I lied," Rachel stuttered through her tears, "I have to cry."
Quinn chuckled softly, starting to allow her tears to fall as well. She awkwardly reached across the center consoled and pulled Rachel back into her, "I suppose it's more our style."
Rachel sniffled against Quinn, she didn't want to say goodbye. She was scared. Scared of her future and what awaited her when she started classes. Would she make friends? She was scared because she finally had friends at home and now she had to start all over again. Would her teachers appreciate her talent or would she be a mediocre fish in a pond full of superstars?
It would help if Quinn could stay a little longer, just until the transition period was over. She knew she couldn't depend on the blonde like this. She depended on Finn and he let her down colossally. She pushed the thought away because she can trust Quinn to be there for her. Finn used her to feel better about himself, she saw that now. Quinn's only concern was making Rachel feel better about herself.
"I'm going to miss you," Rachel blubbered out, rather embarrassingly, as she gripped Quinn tighter.
She knew that Quinn needed to get going and they had already put off saying goodbye three times that day. Quinn would make up an excuse to stay an extra hour and Rachel was so very grateful. But it was going to be dark soon and she wanted to make sure that the blonde made it safely to her mother's hotel room in New Haven.
"I'll see you soon," Quinn replied but making no effort to unhinge herself from Rachel's death grip.
She still wasn't sure where they stood on the whole, we kiss when no one is around and I have feelings for you thing but they didn't need to figure it out right that very second. They had time to explore it and talk about it without pressuring it. Rachel knew deep down how she felt about Quinn, but the blonde needed more time to really understand what it all meant. She could wait… it was worth it.
Quinn was worth it.
In the past, she rushed into things far too quickly, often pressuring her partner to label their relationship. It clearly never lasted so she was okay with letting Quinn take her time with it. It needed to be on her terms and she was okay with relinquishing control.
Look how their road trip turned out.
"Not soon enough," Rachel replied, pulling back and placing a gentle kiss on Quinn's cheek.
"You're going to walk into class tomorrow and own it," Quinn whispered softly, rubbing her shoulders, "And you can call me right after and tell me all about it."
"Okay," Rachel nodded, wiping her tears away. She felt a little better when she realized that they both had cellphones, and computers, and they could speak to each other whenever they wanted.
It wouldn't be so bad. She was still dreading it but she surmised that some of it was the dramatic gene she was born with.
Quinn kissed her softly and held her head in place for a few long seconds, "I have to go," she said, "Or I'll never leave."
Rachel glanced around the interior of Quinn's car. She was going to miss it. She spent the best two weeks of her life trapped inside this tiny little space. Quinn pulled down her vanity mirror and fixed her makeup with her fingers before turning back to Rachel with a sad smile.
"You look fine," She told her, lips closing before she told Quinn just how beautiful she really was.
"You're beautiful, Quinn."
Quinn blew out a shaky breath and fanned her face, "Why am I crying so much? You've ruined me, Berry."
Rachel turned to her with a watery smile, "I stole your iPod while you were showering and made you a playlist."
The blonde laughed, "What's it called?"
Rachel leaned forward and kissed Quinn one last time before she opened the car door, she was bombarded with the buzzing of the city street. "Open Roads and Endless Impossibilities."
Quinn glanced to her iPod and shook her head with an appreciative smile, "I love it."
"I thought you might."
She closed the door and stayed on the curb until she could no longer see Quinn's taillights. She sighed heavily and crossed her arms over her chest and slowly made her way back to her dorm room. She ate an early dinner with Quinn so she wasn't hungry but she could prepare for her first few days of classes, or maybe grab a coffee at the student union. She got back to her room and sat at her computer desk in order to check her emails and that's when she saw what Quinn had done.
She could make out the small piece of paper through her cloudy eyes. It was tacked to her bulletin board, silently teasing her by its very existence.
She learned her lesson. Nothing was impossible.
* From the Desk of Rachel Barbra *
Dreams/Goals/Aspirations as required by Dr. Connor
1. Crowd surf (who does that anymore?)
2. Fly (not in an airplane)
3. Obtain super powers (see above)
4. Survive a zombie attack (without killing any because gross!)
5. Talk to my grandfather (who is dead)
6. Not a care in the world (like that will ever happen)
7. **** Make Quinn my girlfriend ****
She stepped closer and untacked it from the corkboard, staring at number 7. She never crossed it out which meant that Quinn found it in her desk and had crossed it out.
Her phone vibrated on her bed and she blindly stumbled over to pick it up.
"I'm coming back," Quinn rushed out, "I just talked to my mom and I can leave first thing tomorrow morning. She doesn't want me driving at night."
Rachel felt her heart drop into her stomach at Quinn's words. She just felt…relief.
She smiled, "As your girlfriend, I think that's a very good idea, and you better get off the phone while you're driving."
Rachel could practically hear her smirk, "You saw your bulletin board?"
"Yes! Get off the phone!"
"I'm pulled over."
"Then get off the phone and get here."
"How were you planning on making me your girlfriend if you weren't going to ask me?"
Rachel was pacing across her room, clutching the piece of paper in one hand with her cellphone in the other. A thought crossed her mind, "Just how long have you known of the addition to the list?"
"Since Washington," she answered casually.
Rachel mentally calculated just how long ago that was.
"Quinn Fabray, if you're not here in five minutes, I'm seriously going to—"
"Relax, I'm downstairs."
Rachel hung up the phone and tossed it onto her bed before practically running out into the hall and down the stairs. She held onto the piece of paper as she went, clutching it in her fist as Quinn hugged her tightly. She was never letting it go. She needed a frame for that bad boy.
That damn, ridiculous, perfect piece of paper.
Ten months later:
"Oh my god, Rachel, you can't wear that!"
Rachel glanced down at her outfit, "Why not?"
"Because!" Kurt stood from his bed and went over to his clothes rack, "I'm wearing that."
Rachel wasn't positive that she was going to wear the outfit she picked out because it was a bit much. She was just spit balling ideas. She held up her arms, "Fine." She was on her way back to her side of the loft when there was a loud knock on the door.
She squealed as she ran over to door and helped open it. It was super heavy and there was a trick to getting it opened. She threw her arms around Quinn and kissed her up against the doorframe.
"Hi Quinn," Kurt called from behind them. The girl held up her hand to wave, "How was your train ride?" She gave him a thumbs up as she focused on kissing her girlfriend back. They finally pulled away from each other and Rachel helped Quinn carry in her bags. It was the summer and the blonde was there for an extended visit and Rachel couldn't wait for the time they'd get to spend together.
Because Rachel and Kurt had their own apartment, they didn't need to go back to Ohio once classes ended last month. They would eventually go back to see everyone but Kurt and Blaine were taking a break still and the person Rachel was most excited about seeing was here with her. Quinn was there for two weeks and then Rachel was going to travel back with her and spend the rest of the summer in Lima.
"How's everyone?" Rachel asked as she hurried Quinn inside and set her things down.
"Great, your dads gave me some cookies from that Vegan bakery you like." Rachel bent down and started ruffling through Quinn's things, Kurt helped her. "Scavengers," she mumbled as she pulled out the box from her purse and handed it to her.
Quinn eyed Rachel's outfit, "Rach, sweetheart?"
"Hmm?" she asked around a mouthful of cookie. Her and Kurt were mumbling things like so good, oh my god, and perfection.
"What are you wearing?"
"Oh god!" she held a hand over her mouth to prevent crumbs from flying, "I forgot I was wearing this." Her heels clacked around the cement floor as she went to get changed
"It's Pride week," Kurt answered, "You look cute," he pointed to her dress and summer scarf.
"Thanks…" she trailed off and ran a hand through her hair, "What is Pride week?"
"Only the best week ever. Santana will be here soon and then we're going out."
"Rach?" she called hesitantly. Rachel hadn't mentioned anything to her regarding Pride. Or Santana.
Quinn squinted curiously. Rachel never called her that. The blonde walked across their apartment and into Rachel's section. "Santana is coming?"
She looked up, "Did I forget to mention that?" she asked, a few decibels higher than her normal voice. "You guys are friends this week, right?"
"Yes," She hissed, "Although, she won't admit that I was right about… you know what?" Quinn smiled cheerily, "It doesn't matter. I will do whatever you want."
"That's why I love you," Rachel beamed and leaned over to kiss Quinn. "So much," Rachel pecked her lips a few times, "So, so much."
She sat on the bed as Rachel undressed, "What is Pride?"
"I'm not sure exactly but Kurt makes it sound so magical, so I thought it would be something fun to do together. My fathers claimed to not know anything about it but I feel like they're lying to me." She threw on a black top and held out her arms.
Quinn shook her head, "I like this purple one," she handed her the garment.
"Thanks. Kurt said we could dress up if we wanted to but we don't have to."
Rachel threw the purple garment over her head and fixed her long hair, she stared at Quinn and pursed her lips, "I missed you so much."
Quinn backed up a bit as Rachel straddled her hips, watching as her brown eyes disappeared when she began to rake her nails over her lower back. She loved every single one of Rachel's expressions.
"I was thinking," Quinn began, tilting Rachel's chin up to catch the corner of her lips, "About going on a little road trip when we get back to Lima."
Rachel ground her hips forward, "Really?"
Quinn contained her moan and nodded, "It's your turn to plan."
Rachel eyed her suspiciously, "You're really going to give me control?"
The blonde choked out a laugh, "You're always in control."
"Full control? I can plan anything?"
Quinn bit her lip and traced her hands up and under Rachel's bra clasp. She leaned forward and sucked lightly on her earlobe, "Anything."
She felt Rachel shiver on top of her and smirked, "What's the catch?"
Quinn jerked Rachel forward and they fell back on her bed, "I made a list."
Her eyebrow quirked, "Oh yeah? What kind of list?"
She squirmed a bit and dropped her chin, gesturing to her chest. Rachel's eyes followed the movement and she smirked as she reached down into the V of her dress and pulled out a folded piece of paper from her bra.
Rachel sat up slightly so she could unfold and read it. Quinn continued to draw lazy patterns on her back as she watched Rachel's amused expression turn into something darker. Hungrier.
The brunette glanced back to Quinn and held up the paper, "All of these start with the word sex."
"Is that going to be a problem?"
Rachel shrugged and set the paper down next to her head before moving her lips so they were hovering just out of Quinn's reach. "I'm up for the challenge."